Fielding Necessary Questions.
This is the third attempt at writing this blog post without losing it on my browser... there has got to be a good reason. After much deliberation, I think it's one of the most difficult ones to write about let alone speak about. One of the greatest challenges a small business owner faces is the questions (especially face to face) about next steps when their physical location is closing. I have rehearsed the lines and gone through the script but, when push comes to shove, its a daunting experience. You see, owners feel an extreme sense of pride with what they have built up in their bricks. As one customer put it "you put your heart and soul into this place". She was right! The hours of cleaning, prepping for seasons, hauling product in and out and so on was/has been huge. I realized this was the root cause of my angst in explaining why I was closing. So, how was I to respond? I chose the better path. I decided that my customers were as perplexed about me leaving the physical space as I was. This, after all was a family run business for many years and most felt a connection here with me and mine. The countless visits for milestones such as weddings, Baptisms, birthdays and sadly, sympathy made for lively heartfelt conversations. This was more than just a retail store experience, it was about sharing our family. I will cherish the memories of working alongside of my husband and children and the thousands of people we have been able to serve. Yet, as I often say to my kids, there is a time for every season and it is my season to face change, honouring my commitments to finish what I began. Its a parting of sorts and it needed a proper send off. Closing my doors sixteen months ago, didn't seem right. I needed to move back in for one last "hurrah" until I leased the physical space. I also knew there could be a "silver lining" in the fact that I could bring the on-line experience face to face and many of those I had a chance to speak with in the shop, were as excited as I was. Finally, I came to the conclusion that the approach every good business person should take is, welcome all of the inquiries, revel in them, be flattered by them because, if your customers stop showing concern for your business, you may find yourself out of a job!